Sunday, November 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Present’s first full fledged studio album since their (so welcomed back) return to the Belgian scene is a rather superb, if slightly surprising one. Original members Roger Trigaux, Daniel Denis (both also UZ members) and Alain Rochette return with long-time compadre Guy Segers on bass and Roger’s son Reginald on guitars. This is as far as I am concerned their second-best line-up after the one of the early 80’s. Daniel denis will not be around for that long since he will reform Univers Zero again and Present will find first Pierre Narcisse (ex Daniell Schell And Karo) than settle on a more permanent basis on US citizen Dave Kerman.
If I was suggesting this album is slightly surprising, it is because of the prominence of the vocals as three of the four tracks have singing: while signing may be a bit an approximations for Present’s vocals here, we can talk more of chants or almost black-mass incantations – and not always very good, one must admit. Nothing evil or Satanist, I assure you, just simply dark, sombre and gloomy lyrics, fitting quite well the music. Because for the rest Present is back in fine form and this is certainly quite a worthy follow-up to the Poison album. Delusions will become a favourite in concert, with its never-ending piano riff repetition somehow bringing that minimalism that Present is always slightly hinting at, but here coming out in the open, but the last four minutes is a constant and awesome construction shifting constantly between odd time sigs and great soloing. May Day (in the help sense) is also another concert classic, but I must say that it strikes a bit of a miss to me. Nevertheless, this is yet another typical lenghty track of theirs. Much better IMHO, is the Sense Of Life, which have much better vocals and changing rhythm patterns and slight free jazz improvs. If you are aware of Magma’s works, you will see that Present as definite touches of Zeuhl music in them. Present was always a very rhythmic group and Roger Trigaux’s constant switches from guitars to piano, this allows Rochette use a few keyboards extra including a rare mellotron, sparely used but to great effects. The last track is a self-not-so-explanatory and Rochette-penned Ex-Tango, which is another small gem.
Funnily enough (and this will be the case in future albums), even with the extended space of the Cd compared with the vinyl, Present chose to keep this album around the 40 min mark (around the same as in their vinyls), which given the sombre nature of their music is quite a reasonable and mature decision. Much recommended and sufficiently close to their early albums to be a good intro to their strange oeuvre.
Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
1. Delusions (14:48)
2. May Day (10:00)
3. The Sense Of Life (11:08)
4. Ex-Tango (3:46)
Total Time: 39:42
Roger Trigaux - guitar, keyboards and vocals
Reginald Trigaux - guitar and vocals
Alain Rochette - piano and keyboards
Guy Segers - bass
Daniel Denis - drums, percussion and vocals
All compositions by Roger Trigaux except "Ex-Tango" by Alain Rochette
Lyrics for "Delusions" by Roger Trigaux and Luc Govers, "May Day" by Roger and Reginald Trigaux and "The Sense Of Life" by Roger Trigaux
Cuneiform Records #Rune 107
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic are, in a word, unique. Their music is a unique blend of styles and textures that, in the end, sound unlike anything else. They straddle the lines between prog and "serious" music, without losing the fire and drive of rock.
One of the things that makes the band stand out from the crowd is their lack of the traditional bass and drum rhythm section. To be sure, the use of auxilliary percusionists, loops, and drum programming gives their music plenty of rhythmic oomph, but the ability to shed those instruments allows them to explore other textures. Most tracks use synths and grand piano as a base, with intricate guitar, keyboard and reed work over top. The title track is a perfect example of this, as the driving piano and drum loops keep things moving while guitar and sax bound on top. "Ptoccata II", on the other hand, is more laid back and atmospheric.
The various sources for the tracks adds to their diversity. "Birdhead" is a collaboration with percussionists Drumhead, with Erik Lindgren composing the song around the Drumhead track "Autobody." "Music Inspired by 1001 Real Apes" was a collaboration with David Greenberger, creator of The Duplex Planet, and was originally a 65-minute work. "One Hundred Cycles" began life as a piece written by Ken Field while he was composer-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.
Petrophonics is an amazing collection of intricate, intenense and nearly indescribable instrumental music. If you're generally not a fan of that kind of thing, don't let the band's unique lineup or presence on Cuneiform scare you away. This is not music that is abstract for the sake of being abstract. It's always well composed and arranged, which leads to it being memorable, even if it's not in a toe-tapping melodies-stick-in-your-head kind of way. Highly recomended.
Jon Byrne, Ground and Sky
1. Petrophonics (6:13)
2. Ptoccata II (5:13)
3. One Hundred Cycles (5:20)
4. Nevergreen (7:30)
5. Study Of Unintended Consequences (4:22)
6. Birdhead (3:57)
7. Allswell That Endswell In Roswell (6:50)
Music Inspired By 1001 Real Apes:
8. Time Marches On Theme (3:15)
9. Dinosaurs Theme (3:31)
10. Gravity Theme (6:29)
11. Quincy Sore Throat Theme (3:55)
The Insidious Revenge Of Ultima Thule:
12. Part One (2:28)
13. Part Two (3:26)
14. Part Three (3:23)
- Michael Bierylo / guitar, programming, sound design
- Ken Field / Alto & Soprano saxophones, flutes, percussion
- Erik Lindgren / acoustic Grand piano
- Rick Scott / synthesizer, sound design and piano (Study Of Unintended Consequences)
Links in comments. Enjoy!
For the humor impaired and whimsically challenged, the relentless barrage of berserk good cheer Samla Mammas Manna unleash is a recipe for a migraine. Mining a vein of indigenous Swedish folk influence and undermining it with ingenious infusions of dadaist detournment, the maniacally merry machinations of these Swedish avant-prog maestros is an admittedly acquired taste but one well worth acclimating yourself to. Though two albums were issued under the moniker Zamla Mammaz Manna in the late 70s, this is the first statement from the original quartet since 1976's Snorungarnas Symfoni. Remarkably, time has not altered their capacity for radicalism a whit.
Effortlessly negotiating impossibly tricky unison lines with clockwork precision and impish glee, a track like the ferocious, fractured "Frestelsen's Café", with its whirling marimbas and flailing guitar paroxysms will leave even skeptics slack jawed and starry eyed. Evenly slotted between these densely composed bits are some completely out-to-lunch improvisations that find our heroes looning and gibbering like escapees from a muppet asylum while a befuddled narrator gamely attempts to come to grips with what he's witnessing. Welcome back friends. Its been too long.
1. Stämma lite (0:29)
2. Lyckliga Titanic (5:12)
3. Oh sa masalana jämfört med Ålman River (2:03)
4. Första Ikarien (6:39)
5. Reptilgärna (2:16)
6. Satori (3:28)
7. Vegetariskt impro, svar direkt (2:38)
8. Frestelsens café (8:14)
9. Tung krupa tejpraga tra la la (2:36)
10. Andra Ikarien (3:33)
11. Även oss får tiden åldras Spasmodskij Engelbert Humperdnick Blues (5:12)
12. Hatman (2:28)
13. Tredje Ikarien (5:30)
14. 00 (0:19)
Total Time: 50:37
Coste Apetrea - gitar, bouzouki, veena, voice
Hasse Bruniusson - drums, percussion, marimba, voice
Lars Hollmer - keyboards, accordion, melodica, voice
Lars Krantz - bass, voice
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Zeni Geva had been together for nearly 14 years and 11 albums prior to this one, but the band's angular, psychedelic noise rock/metal hybrid sounds just as ferocious as ever here. Tight, focused, and apparently pretty pissed off, they tear through the album's eight tracks with the energy of bandmembers half their age. At the same time, though, Zeni Geva understands something many younger bands don't -- which is dynamics: When shifting out of the quieter sections and into full-attack mode on tracks such as "Blastsphere" and "Tyrannycide," Zeni Geva sounds like just about the heaviest band on the planet. Leader K.K. Null keeps his vocals to a strategic minimum, leaving the emphasis on the band's jagged prog/math rock rhythms, the dissonant dual guitar riffs and textures, and Masataka Fujika's massive drumming, which benefits from a patented Steve Albini recording job. Most of this disc is not what you'd call catchy; in fact, a lot of it is downright ugly. But then again, this is Zeni Geva -- what else would you expect? This band has become known for playing ugly, dense, and uncompromising rock & roll, and 10,000 Light Years does not disappoint.
William York, All Music Guide
1. 10,000 Light Years (6:06)
2. Implosion (3:12)
3. Blastsphere (5:37)
4. Interzona 2 (6:00)
5. Tyrannycide (3:35)
6. Last Nanosecond (5:06)
7. Hazchem (6:50)
8. Auto-Fuck (2:17)
Kazuyuki K. Null - guitar, nullsonic, voice
Mitsuru Tabata - guitar, guitar synthesizer
Masataka Fujikake - drums
All music composed & produced by Zeni Geva
All lyrics written by Kazuyuki K. Null
Recorded at Electrical Audio, Chicago, October 2000
Engineered by Steve Albini
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Неубоявшимся такого издевательства над собой я рекомендую оценить недавнее расширенное переиздание альбома 1995 года Destroy All Music (название для такой музыки, по моему, очень удачное).
Skin Graft Records proudly presents "DxAxMx Revisited", a fully remastered, extended edition of The Flying Luttenbachers' landmark 1995 album, "Destroy All Music". This special edition includes notorious drummer/multi-instrumentalist Weasel Walter and renowned jazz saxophonist Ken Vandermark, the innovative punk-jazz ensemble that first garnered the band widespread acclaim.
Here the band is captured at the height of the internal struggles that would soon dissolve the quintet line-up. The end result is an unforgettable experience, a document of the most extreme energy level the line-up ever mustered on record.
In addition to the 10 tracks featured on the original release, this comprehensive edition includes seven never-before-heard vintage recordings, all painstakingly remastered by bandleader Weasel Walter. "Destroy All Music Revisited" is 80 minutes of wild, unhinged cacophony, fusing fiery free jazz improvisation with modern post-punk/noise-rock structures. This is an integral part of Chicago's underground musical heritage, a milestone in adventurous jazz, and a key component of the neo-no wave movement.
1. Demonic Velocities / 20,000,000 Volts
2. Fist Through Glass
3. Sparrow's Thin Lot
5. (In Progress)
6. Ver Aus Dun 'Turbo Scratcher'
7. Necessary Impossibility Of Determinism
8. Dance Of The Lonely Hyenas
9. Tiamat En Arc
10. Final Variation On A Theme Entitled 'Attack Sequence'
11. One-Two Punch
13. Critic Stomp
14. Clammer + Sprint
15. Coffeehouse In Flames
16. Eaten By Sharks
17. Throwing Bricks
The Flying Luttenbachers:
Chad Organ (tenor & baritone saxophones, moog synthesizer)
Dylan Posa (electric guitar)
Weasel Walter (percussion)
Jeb Bishiop (bass guitar, trombone, casio keyboard)
Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Engineers include: Chuck Uchida, Weasel Walter, Elliott Dicks.
Recorded live at Lounge Ax, Chicago, Illinois on September 16, 1994 and Czar Bar, Chicago, Illinois on December 3, 1993; ugEXPLODE, Chicago, Illinois on July 4, 1994; Attica Studios, Chicago, Illinois on May 7, 1994.
Composers: The Flying Luttenbachers; Weasel Walter.
Audio Remasterer: Weasel Walter.
Links in comments. Enjoy!
" This music provides me with everything I am addicted to and enjoy: the giddy beauty of romantic and modern classics from Berliot to Berio, the immediacy of new jazz and the smell of pop in progressive rock. In all, it's a ball of humour, diversity and critical engagement." (Bad Alchemy 2/85)
" An important figure in the British 'crossover-avantgarde', gives us an exciting cross-section of the 80's. Bizarre Easy Listening, orchestrated and served sometimes with humour, sometimes with a shot of social criticism, always with British understatement." (Collibri 10/92)
1. Speed Of Light (3:32) (Sally Potter)
2. Belfast (2:10)
3. The Number 8 Bus (1:25) (Lis Rhodes)
4. Torn Away (1:56) (Lis Rhodes)
5. Plate Dance (3:01)
6. No Missles (1:51) (Lis Rhodes)
7. Royal Courts of Justice (2:13)
8. Iceland The Long Dance (5:56)
9. As She Breathes (2:36) (Sally Potter)
10. The Assassination Waltz (1:38)
11. Who Knows? (1:26) (Lis Rhodes)
12. Exchange (2:05) (Lis Rhodes)
13. Elegy (3:38)
14. Domestic Bliss (end credits) (2:37)
15. They're Moving In (1:49) (Carolyn Askar)
16. Julia/End Credits (3:16)
17. Next Century (1:17)
18. From Morning Till Midnight (2:09)
19. The Colony Comes A Cropper (4:33)
a) The Chase
20. Fledermaus (1:35) (Robyn Archer)
21. We'd Rather Fly (0:59)
Total time: 52:30
Lindsay Cooper - piano, electric piano, keyboards, synthesizers, alto & sopranino saxophones, bassoon, glockenspiel, bass guitar
Georgie Born - guitar, bass guitar, cello, electric piano on 1
Sally Potter - singing on 1,9
Dagmar Krause - singing on 3,4,6
Maggie Nicols - singing on 7,15,16
Kate Westbrook - singing on 11,12, tenor horn
Chris Cutler - drums
Celia Gore Booth - musical saw
Vicky Aspinall - violin
Zeena Parkins - harp
Irita Kutchmy - piccolo
Helena Paul - cello on 5
Elvira Plenar - piano, synthesizer on 17; piano on 21
Alfred 23 Harth - soprano saxophon on 17; bass clarinet on 21
Annemarie Roelofs - trombone on 17; violin on 21
John Harle - soprano saxophon on 18
Helen Liebmann - cello on 18
Peter Whyman - soprano saxophon, bass clarinet, flute on 19
Robyn Archer - singing on 20
Linda Patching - violin on 20
Teresa Blake - cello on 20
Links in comments. Enjoy!
"Sadness, Its Bleached Bones Behind Us," and "You Are What You Eat" are unrelenting slices of hard-edged sounds over a pulse. "The Palace of Laughter, The Technology of Tears" is an imaginative, intense, varied suite comparing music which represents the past "frozen tears" of sadness -- displayed as images before us by the media, etc. -- with the "hot tears" of the moment that cannot be absorbed by technology. "Jigsaw" and "Jigsaw Coda" (1986) creates patterns with constantly shifting accents and sub-divisions..uneven pieces to be fit together..."Propaganda" (1987) music for a theatre production is a series of brilliantly evocative soundpieces with electronics, guitar, and sound effects...feedback and explosions in the distance, tantric harmonizing in the desert, "A deeper understanding of conflict", "The Relentless Landscape," "The Excellent Hyena," "The Wolf Demon." With John Zorn, alto sax, Tenko, voice, Christian Marclay, turntables, Jim Staley, trombone.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny
A. The Technology of Tears:
1. Sadness, It's Bones Bleached Behind Us (13:18)
2. You Are What You Eat (18:45)
3. The Palace of Laughter, The Technology of Tears (10:21)
4. Jigsaw (14:47)
5. Jigsaw Coda (3:07)
Total Time 70:18
- Fred Frith / all instruments except as noted
- John Zorn / Alto sax (1,2,3)
- Tenko / Voice (1,2,3)
- Jim Staley / Trombone (4,5)
- Christian Marclay / Turntables (1,2,3)
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Regarding Purgatories marks the beginning of a new incarnation of the 5uu's. Dave Kerman took greater control over the creative process, changed the official name of the group to "Dave Kerman/5uu's," and got a new vocalist, Thinking Plague's Deborah Perry. He also started branching out musically -- the album contains both a greater variety of compositional techniques and some longer, more abstract pieces than had appeared on previous 5uu's releases.
"Meteora," the album's wonderful opener, is a great example of how 00s 5uu's differs from 90s 5uu's. Not only is it completely instrumental except for some distorted Medieval-ish chants that slosh around occasionally, but the first two minutes consist entirely of ambient synthesized foghorns and piano strings being scraped with keys. And when the drums and bass do come crashing in, it's simply amazing, especially when they're joined by a surprisingly Thinking Plague-like angular guitar line to create one of the most propulsive, satisfying passages the band has ever done.
This is not to say that all of the album is so abstract -- Kerman has certainly not given up his talent for catchiness, and "Drachma" could almost be an avant-prog single, with its infectious, convolutedly folky melody and well-placed solo for walkie-talkie feedback. But it's nice to set this off against pieces like "Half-Akin to Gladsome," an intermezzo for voice and piano that's more delicate than almost anything on Hunger's Teeth. And it's hard to argue with the viscous, bubbling, brilliant organ solo in "String of Hey-Days" (which actually reminds me of a much more aggressive version of James Grigsby's work in U Totem), or the unexpected vocal part of "Pinwheel," in which Perry's voice splinters into four different tracks and reflects off itself, simultaneously extremely strange and indescribably beautiful.
I have to admit, not every piece on the album is perfect. A few tracks, like "To Fall on Deaf Ears part one," drag a little in places, and Perry's attempt to sound like Dagmar Krause at the beginning of "Stand On Ceremony" is pretty weak. While the epic "To Fall on Deaf Ears part two" is mostly excellent, complete with a powerful, ponderous and extremely grim-sounding middle section that puts Univers Zero to shame, it ends so abruptly that it sounds like they ran out of tape while recording it -- a rather jarring effect whose aesthetic purpose continues to baffle me. Still, the amount of good on this highly underrated disc so outweighs the bad in both quality and quantity that I think Regarding Purgatories may be my favorite 5uu's album. Anyone hesitating to buy it because of the flak it sometimes gets on r.m.p, I urge you to keep and open mind and give it a try
Alex Temple [May 2002]
1. Meteora (7:31)
2. Pinwheel (5:12)
3. Belew And Beyond (5:14)
4. To Fall On Deaf Ears - part one (4:51)
5. Half-Akin To Gladsome (1:44)
6. Drachma (4:28)
7. First Person Jocular (4:36)
8. String Of Hey-Days (2:40)
9. Day 29 (2:18)
10. Gordian Knot (4:44)
11. Stand On Ceremony (1:43)
12. To Fall On Deaf Ears - part two (10:35)
Total Time: 55:36
- Dave Kerman / guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion, occasional bass & vocals, tapes, noises etc.
- Deborah Perry / vocals
- Keith Macksoud / bass
- Mark McCoin / exotic percussion, unconventional soloing
- Sajay Kumar / additional keyboards
- Charles Turner / piano solos
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Monday, July 30, 2007
Probably the most accessible and instantly likeable of 5uu's albums, but you still have to have a fondness for the avant side of prog to enjoy it. I bought my copy used from a prog fan who didn't like it, so it's not for everybody. Personally, I love the album, so his loss was my gain.
To give some idea of the popularity of this album among the avant crowd, when Thinking Plague played ProgDay in '99 (with Dave Kerman on drums), someone in the audience called out a request for "Well...Not Chickenshit". Plague bandleader Mike Johnson replied by a riff from the song on his guitar. "Well...", the opening song on Hunger's Teeth, is a classic, with catchy (if somewhat angular) music and lyrics about condescending things a boss might be heard to say at a 9 to 5 job. According to Kerman, the title was found when keyboardist Sanjay Kumar accused him of being chickenshit (heh, Word's spell-checker wants to change that to "chickens hit") for not attributing the quotes to the actual people who had said them.
The lyrics to "Roan" really hit me, because it expresses something that I have experienced several times, and thought it was just me being paranoid. It's specifically about the dangers of living in California, and wondering if the various disasters that occur there will damage your home. We don't have many earthquakes or riots here in semi-rural Pennsylvania, but I have been on my way home a few times, saw smoke on the horizon and started worrying.
"Mangate" is a minimalist, tape-manipulation piece created by Thomas DiMuzio. It has such a hypnotic effect, that I once missed my exit on the highway because that track had lulled me into a semi-trance. Very neat.
Those first three tracks are my favorite part of the album, but it continues to maintain its high quality throughout. The ground it covers ranges from a barbershop quartet singing about barbers to philosophy about a bachelor fumbling his way through mending his own clothes. Plus there's a running theme throughout the album that has to do with horses - the one pictured on the cover, the track title "Roan" (which starts with galloping hoof beats), the rocker "Glue" ("in time, sugar and horses will both become glue") that starts with the trumpet call that begins horse races, etc. Even the album title is apparently meant to be the name of a famous race horse. The more I listen to this disc, the more layers and tie-ins to various themes I find.
This is definitely a highly recommended album, if you're a fan at all of prog's more experimental edges. For those looking to get their first 5uu's album, this would be a good place to start (if you can find it).
review by Bob Eichler — 4-16-03О диске
1. Well... Not Chickenshit (6:35)
2. Roan (3:03)
3. Mangate (2:55)
4. Geronimo (4:51)
5. Glue (2:41)
6. Opportunity Bangs (5:18)
7. The Shears (1:25)
8. Bachelor Needle (2:16)
9. Truth, Justice, and the American Way (5:35)
10. Equus (5:06)
11. Traveler Waits for No One (3:27)
Total Time: 43:52
- Sanjay Kumar / keyboards
- David Kerman /drums, guitars, keyboards
- Bob Drake / vocals, basses, guitars, violins
- Thomas Dimuzio / electronics
- Susanne Lewis / vocals
- James Grigsby / guitar, vibes, bass
- Michelle Bos / utensils, penny fountain, skydiving ocarinas, metal tables, creaks, blue rocks
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Monday, July 2, 2007
Despite efforts to change its reputation in recent years, Milwaukee, Wisconsin still seems like an odd place to find a forward-thinking group that puts the “progressive” in progressive rock. Far Corner’s self-titled 2004 debut demonstrated that the most wondrous music can come from the most unlikely of places, and Endangered takes things a step further. Fans of Univers Zero (whose 2006 Cunieform release Live found its way onto many progressive top 10 lists for the year) will find much to like about Endangered although Far Corner can, at times, demonstrate a far more aggressive rock stance than the longstanding Belgian Rock-in-Opposition group.
The focus of this oddly configured group (keyboards, bass, drums, cello) remains dark-hued and, at times, ominous composition that references 20th Century classical music and ‘70s progressive groups including King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer in equal parts. The group’s first album consisted entirely of material by keyboardist Dan Maske, but Endangered’s title track takes an innovative and creative approach to collective composition. Much like a story round, where one person begins a tale and passes it on to the next person to enhance, augment and further develop, this twenty-minute piece evolves as each member of the quartet takes what came before and moves it forward.
The base textures of the group remain the same. Maske’s emphasis is on organ first, piano second and synthesizers a distant third. Cellist Angela Schmidt demonstrates the ability to be lyrical and delicate one moment, harsh and metallic the next as she adds distortion to her instrument. Uber-bassist William Kopecky assumes the dual role of rhythm section anchor and contrapuntal melodist, while drummer Craig Walkner is equally pluralistic as assertive propeller and textural colorist. Here, however, the group expands its sonic palette, with Maske adding trumpet and melodica to the mix alongside Kopecky’s spring drum and Schmidt’s violin and bamboo flute.
Improvisation also remains a fundamental component, despite Far Corner’s largely composed repertoire. It may alternate between regular and irregular meters, but the acoustic-driven “Not From Around Here” actually swings, featuring a lithe and passionate solo from guest violinist Jerry Loughney and an equally impressive turn by Kopecky. “Claws,” on the other hand, feels more like collective free improv despite Maske's compositional credit.
As undeniably talented Far Corner is, it remains clearly committed to the demands of the music, with none of the showboating or excessive self-indulgence that sometimes gives progressive rock a bad name. Endangered is an even better record than Far Corner by a group that is becoming more comfortable, cohesive and experimental while losing none of its edgy appeal.
By John Kelman, March 23, 2007
Visit Far Corner on
1. Inhuman (3:47)
2. Do You Think I'm Spooky? (6:41)
3. Creature Council (10:17)
4. Claws (5:14)
5. Not From Around Here (8:57)
6. Endangered (19:50)
Total Time: 54:46
William Kopecky - fretted and fretless basses & spring drum
Dan Maske - keyboards, trumpet, melodica & additional percussion
Angela Schmidt - acoustic and electric cellos, violin & bamboo flute
Craig Walkner - drumset
Special guest: Jerry Loughney - violin solo on "Not From Around Here"
Music composed by Dan Maske.
"Endangered" composed by Far Corner.
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Monday, June 25, 2007
No, this isn’t two albums on one disc ; it’s merely the French and English versions of the title. If you can deal with the gimmicky cover of the CD, the bilinguality of the song titles, and the progressively RIO bent of the music, Miriodor would be an excellent addition to your collection. Someone described them to me as « Univers Zéro in a good mood ». Lacking a better description, I’ll reuse that one. If you like the instrumental complexity and power of UZ, coupled with that band’s lack of any mainstream influence, chances are you’ll find 3rd Warning to your taste. And even if you’re a novice to the RIO sound and are looking for a place to start, Miriodor is probably the best place. They combine musical prowess and creativity with a certain amount of accessibility. While not lacking the dissonance of Henry Cow or Magma, they serve it up in smaller doses. A three piece, Miriodor consists of Pascal Globensky on piano, Sabin Hudon on sax, and Rémi Leclerc on percussion. All three double on synths. Leclerc drives home the UZ comparisons with his Denisesque classically influenced percussives. The others weave intricate melodies and counterpoint. For a threesome their sound is remarkably full - lots going on. While no individual instrument is doing blistering solos, they will impress you with mature, complex writing. Like most of my favorite bands, the emphasis is on the writing rather than the playing. The result is a tightly composed 45 minutes of excellent progressive music. I highly recommend this new Canadian band to anyone with an ear for experimentation.
Mike Borella, Panorama, Winter 1993
1. Transsiberien (Trans-Siberian) (5:00)
2. Langage de lezard (Lizard's Language) (2:00)
3. Garde a vaus! (Attention!) (1:44)
4. Jerusalem (4:16)
5. Cortege (Procession) (3:45)
6. Vision (3:48)
7. Entrapercu (Glimpse) (3:08)
8. Reconfort metaphysique (Solace) (2:34)
9. 3e Avertissement (3rd Warning) (4:59)
10. Debout (Standing) (4:09)
11. Viking (4:27)
12. Chute libre (Free Fall) (3:18)
Pascal Globensky: piano, synthesizer
Sabin Hudon: sax, synthesizer
Remi Leclerc: percussions, synthesizer
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I've finally accepted it. Daniel Denis and Univers Zero are not going to make another Heresie or another Uzed
Frankly, while The Hard Quest was such a welcome comeback that I would have been overjoyed even if it had been mediocire, neither it nor Rhythmix have had much staying power for me. I find the longer, more open-ended, more oppressive compositions of UZ's earlier work more compelling overall. The new-school Univers Zero is still pretty unique, and still pretty good, but no longer completely enthralling.
That said, Implosion is easily my favorite of 21st-century Univers Zero. Compared to previous efforts, it's practically cheerful; while some of the interludes are ominous noise experiments (that, incidentally, don't really do anything for me at all), the compositions proper are surprisingly - and addictively - melodic. Only "La Mort de Sophocle" is a peek back at what was, with a slow creepiness that tantalizingly reminds of the older stuff. Denis' compositions have never been tighter - for better or worse - and the expanded instrumental palette already evident in Rhythmix
In fact, a lot of the pieces here - "Falling Rain Dance", "Temps Neufs", "Mellotronic", to name just a few - shouldn't really be that scary even to those who shy away at the mere mention of RIO or avant-rock. Thanks to the newfound melodicism and, perhaps, the continuing growth of Denis' compositional experience, this is the most accessible UZ yet, and not at the expense of depth. So while fans of the old-school stuff like myself may still regret that the band has (probably wisely) moved on to create a new signature sound, there's no denying that the new Univers Zero is still a juggernaut of a band. Implosion is their best effort since those good old days.
Brandon Wu — 1-26-05
1. Suintement (Oozing) (1:13)
2. Falling Rain Dance (4:12)
3. Partch's X-Ray (5:21)
4. Rapt d'Abdallah (3:01)
5. Miroirs (Mirrors) (1:18)
6. La Mort de Sophocle (Sophocle's Death) (3:11)
7. Ectoplasme (1:07)
8. Temps Neufs (4:56)
9. Mellotronic (4:04)
10. Bacteria (1:28)
11. Out of Space 4 (2:52)
12. First Short Dance (0:42)
13. Second Short Dance (0:41)
14. Variations on Mellotronic's Theme (3:04)
15. À Rebours (In Reverse) (1:56)
16. Méandres (Meanderings) (9:38)
Michael Berckmans – oboe, english horn, basson
Serge Bertocchi – alto, soprano, sopranissimo saxes, tubax
Aurelia Boven – cello
Daniel Denis – drums, percussion, all keyboards and samplers
Dirk Descheemaeker – clarinet, bass clarinet
Bart Maris – trumpet, flugelhorn
Eric Platain – bass
Christophe Pons – acoustic guitar
Bart Quartier – marimba, glockenspiel
Igor Semenoff – violin
All music composed and arranged by Daniel Danis
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Thinking Plague is a state-of-the-art American rock band with musical affinities to the Rock-in-Opposition movement. While it would be easy to imitate Henry Cow (or whoever) and boast a great accomplishment in profundity, Thinking Plague takes the high road and broadens the RIO ethic with groundbreaking innovations and eccentric songwriting.
On _Early Plague Years_, Bob Drake has taken the bands first two albums, 1984's _...A Thinking Plague_ and 1986's _Moonsongs_, remastered them completely and done some snipping to a few admittedly effusive sections in order to fit it all on one CD (any editing here is unfortunate but a fair tradeoff). Thanks to Drake, these albums sound great.
Thinking Plague, to most people, is abrasive, scary, and unmeleodic. I've heard the "nails on a chalkboard" description thrown around a lot. This is mainly attributable to their penchant for atonality, which is a common feature in their music along with long, complex songs and convoluted metrical changes. Personally I find Thinking Plague extremely melodic, catchy, energetic, and fun to listen to. Songs like "Warheads" -- an ominous composition with harsh, stark drums, mantra-like vocals, and angular, dissonant melodies (the final dirge is one of the most apocalyptic of things) -- and "Etude for Combo" -- an instrumental that was recorded live in the studio, and it like King Crimson possessed by evil spirits -- are definitive Plague songs. The two 15-minute epics, "Moonsongs" and "Thorns of Blue and Red / the War", are outstanding, multisectioned journeys through the dark, haggard forests around a sunny, happy prog town, full of great parts, especially the huge percussion jams in "Moonsongs". Actually one of my favorite parts in any Thinking Plague song is in "Moonsongs": the killer section where they play fast, repetitive melodic fragments of Susanne Lewis' sampled voice (it's MIND-WARPING), all the while the heavy bass and drums crash and pound with growing intensity. The lyrics of "Thorns of Blue..." are rather disturbing, as they were taken from a poetry book in the garbage behind a hospice. They have a very dark, imminent feel that goes well with TP's music. HOI. "How to Clean Squid" is insane discourse on, well, how to clean squid (lyrics taken from a cookbook), with a heavy rhythmic pulse and wacky vocals from Sharon Bradford. "Four Men in the Rain" sounds like a drunken string quartet on a submarine and "Collarless Fog that one day soon" is a strange, minimalist piece.
There is a close relationship between Thinking Plague, the 5uu's, and U Totem in both the members involved and the compositional traits of each. Each band is amazing and important, proving that American RIO-school bands are doing teh prog thing better than anyone right now. Explore all these artists and prepare to have your world expanded a thousandfold. If you're looking for a good place to dive right into these murky waters, _Early Plague Years_ is hard to beat. You'd have to be primordial ooze to not think this is brilliant.Official site
1. Warheads (8:03)
2. Etude for Combo (6:59)
3. Collarless Fog that one day soon (3:20)
4. Inside Out (4:12)
5. Moonsongs (original '86 Mix) (15:23)
"...A Thinking Plague": 39:49
6. I Do Not Live (5:02)
7. Possessed (8:17)
8. How to Clean Squid (5:01)
9. a light is on and name the world (1:28)
10. The Taste that Lingers On (2:06)
11. For Men in the Rain (2:29)
12. Thorns of Blue and Red / the War (15:26)
Total Time: 77:46
- Bob Drake / bass guitar, drums percussion, keyboards, voice
- Mark Fuller / drums, timbales, simmons drums
- Eric Moon / keyboards
- Mike Johnson / guitars, drums, percussion voice
- Susanne Lewis / voice
- Mark McCoin / drums, percussion, voice, cheap sampler
- Fred Hess / alto sax
- Glenn Nita / soprano sax
"...A Thinling Plague":
- Sharon Bradford / voice, casio mini synth, "drake noise box"
- Bob Drake / bass guitar, drums percussion, guitar, keyboards, voice
- Harry Fleishman / piano, organ,voice
- Mark Fuller / drums, simmons drums
- Mike Johnson / guitars, synths, piano, voice
- Mark Bradford / voice
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Friday, June 8, 2007
Having recently been converted and classified as a bonified Area fanatic, I find myself pulling this one out of my collection daily. Maledetti holds all of the elements that make Area such a hair raising listening experience, while exploring new territory foreign to the Area camp. Most of the information on Area comprises their releases up to this one and stops short of really describing this torrent wave of musical experimentation called Maledetti. All of the Area elements are intact; from the Mediterranean sonic fusion, rhythmic assaults that leave one breathless, to newer elements of African rhythmic percussion via Paul Lytton, classical jazz elements courtesy of Steve Lacy, and a classical music overture with the aid of a string quartet, making Maledetti a monster in the Area catalog.
Along with Ares Tavolazzi on bass and keyboard genus Patrizio Fariselli, Demetrios Stratos has never sounded better with his vocal intonations. Starting off with "Evaporazione" we hear Stratos running back and forth spouting some Italian nonsense which ends abruptly with him screaming "Ladies and Gentlemen", leading to "Diforisum Urbans": a glorious glide of rhythmic keyboard mayhem that breaks with a keyboard run halfway through and Stratos vocalizing like never before. "Gerontocrazia" contains one of Stratos's most incredible vocal workouts. If I had to pick one track that was most representative of Demetrios's style of singing this would be it, minus the yodeling inflections. "Scum" is one of those tracks that will have you reaching out and pulling your old Monk and Bud Powell recordings and dust them off for a second listen.
Side two: enter the string quartet with a Bach concerto, magnificent in it's own right, and into "Giro, Giro, Tondo". Damn this is incredible from Stratos! So full of emotion and energy, many vocalist could take lessons from listening to this! Patrizio Fariselli shines like the brightest beacon in a dark harbor with his keyboard work which makes this one my all time favorite Area tracks. And ending Maledetti is "Caos", a workout of structures of insanity guided by no one. What would an Area work be without "CHAOS REPRESENTED in the final inflection of an out and out masterpiece from one of the most innovative and exciting groups to have ever graced these shores and ears. They don't make em like this anymore!!
Mark Gaines [July 2002]
1. Evaporazione (1:45)
2. Diforisma urbano (6:18)
3. Gerontocrazia (7:30)
4. Scum (6:30)
5. Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore (2:20)
6. Giro, giro, tondo (5:55)
7. Caos (parte seconda) (9:00)
8. Intervista a Stratos, Tofani, Fariselli (2:07)
9. L'Internazionale (5:58)
- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, electric piano, bass clarinett, synthesizer, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic bass, trombone
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, synthesizer, flute, tcherepnin
- Demetrio Stratos / vocal, organ, cembalo, steel drum, percussion
- Eugenio Colombo / kazumba
- Hugh Bullen / bass
- Walter Calloni / drums
- Steve Lacy / soprano sax
- Anton Arze & Jose Arze / txalaparta
- Paul Lytton / percussion
- Paolo Salvi / cello
- Giorgio Garulli / contrabass
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Heavy Zappa sound on a couple of the songs especially on the humorous romp that is the first song "Um Tut Strut". The music on the album is a mix bag from avant-garde, progressive rock, jazz, expirimental and electronica though it is somewhat accessible. The lyrics can be goofy to serious. Mostly featured is the lead guitar work of Tony Hall and he is very good and plays much like Zappa. The best songs on the album (IMO) are the first 3. "No Raven Tonight" has the most cohesive progressive rock feel with tempo changes and has the best drumming of the album. "Perseids" is a very well played song as is a departure from the rest of the album in the sense that it is the only mellow song. Mellow does not mean boring however as this is one of the most beautiful songs with nice acoustic guitar playing and dreamlike keys. The song is 14 minutes long and never dull. The last 3 songs are a mixed bag and I didn't really get into them as much as the first 3, however parts of the songs are very good especially in "Black Day / White Light" which has some nice progressive drumming, guitar and bass work. The last song, "Pioneers Over C", which is a cover of a Van Der Graaf Generator song, is not my style. The song has no melody or rhythm to it. it's just instruments playing by themselves never really going anywhere. I am not a big fan of VDGG so maybe if you like them, this song will be a highlight. Overall, a good album but just not catchy enough for me mostly on the second half of the album.
1. "UM-TUT-SUT" - takes some getting used to due to the humorous start of the song musically but is a great Zappa-like song with the last 5 minutes being very impressive with great guitar work. (8:57)
2. "No Raven Tonight" (9:00)
3. "Perseids" (14:12)
dalt99 (David C.)
1. Um Tut Sut (Sary) (8:57)
2. No Raven Tonight (Sary/Fowler/Mullen) (9:08)
3. Perseids (Hall) (14:14)
C. Reign of Ice
4. Black Day, White Light (Hall) (9:36)
5. The Souls of The Damned Live In Failed Works (Sary) (9:26)
6. Pioneers Over 'C' (Hammill/Jackson) (15:47)
7. (Hidden Track) (3:50)
- Mike Sary / bass, Chapman stick
- Tony Hall / guitars, vocals
- Bob Douglas / drums, vocals
- John Robinson / keyboards
- Gregory Acker / sax, flute, Whistle
- Peter Rhee / violin
- Gary Hicks / trumpet
CAUTION: not dancing to this recording may greatly increase your longevity.
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Not too long after the concerts captured on Swiss Cheese / Fire and Just Another Band From L.A., the Flo and Eddie band played a show in London that would turn out to be their last. An idiot "fan" came out of the audience and pushed Zappa into the orchestra pit because he thought Frank was coming on to his girlfriend. FZ spent several months in a wheelchair, and the Mothers were disbanded as the members sought employment elsewhere.
The setback didn't stop Zappa from writing music though. During this time he created two fantastic big-band jazz albums that are favorites amongst many fans. The first was Waka / Jawaka, which features the usual rock band instrumental line-up enhanced by trumpet, piccolo, flute, clarinet, sax and other instruments. There weren't many players on this album (compared to the next one), but Frank still managed to get a "big band" sound from them.
This disc was sort of a sequel to Hot Rats, and to make sure no one missed that point, the cover art features a sink with "Hot" written on one faucet handle and "Rats" on the other. In fact, some fans even refer to this album as "Hot Rats 2". The music doesn't really sound too much like the HR album though. This disc is closer to straight jazz, with a more open, relaxed, blowing atmosphere to it. The next album, The Grand Wazoo would also be more similar to this than to HR.
Waka begins with the massive instrumental Big Swifty, a beautiful, flowing track full of solos. Next comes Your Mouth, a sort of offbeat blues tune, with lyrics about a guy who wants to shoot his old lady down for cheating and lying. Some people find these lyrics very offensive, but they just seem like typical blues lyrics (maybe just a bit more extreme) to me.
It Just Might Be a One Shot Deal is another vocal track with lyrics that voice the philosophy that you should have fun while you can, because you never know when your time is going to run out. The music is more bluegrass than jazz, with a great little slide-guitar solo in the middle. (I got a fairly brisk email from someone named Reid Whitton, who informed me that my comparison of One Shot to bluegrass was "a very poor analogy", and that it's a pedal-steel guitar solo, not a slide guitar solo. Admittedly, my knowledge of country music in general, and bluegrass specifically, is fairly weak, so I apologize to any bluegrass fans I've offended with my description). Zappa is credited with playing "electric springs" on this track (they're the weird little "boing" noise you can hear at two spots during the song).
The disc ends with the title track, another beautiful, jazzy instrumental full of tasty solos from all involved. It deserves more analysis than I can provide, so I'll leave that to more knowledgable jazz reviewers.
My only complaint about this album is that it's so short - they should have put this one and The Grand Wazoo on one CD like they did with the Money/Lumpy and Apostrophe/Overnight two-fer CDs. Then again, considering how crappy those CDs sounded, maybe it's a good thing these discs remained separate. Anyway, if you're a fan of big band jazz with rock elements, you should definitely get both albums.
review by Bob Eichler — 5-6-05
1. Big Swifty (17:23)
2. Your Mouth (3:12)
3. It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal (4:16)
4. Waka/Jawaka (11:18)
Total Time: 36:08
- Frank Zappa / guitar (acoustic), guitar, percussion, keyboards, sound effects, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards, piano (electric), vocals, tack piano, ring modulated keyboard
- Don Preston / synthesizer, piano, moog synthesizer, mini moog
- Sal Marquez / trumpet, chimes, flugelhorn, vocals
- Jeff Simmons / bass, guitar, vocals, Hawaiian guitar
- Aynsley Dunbar / guitar, drums, tambourine, Washboard
- Sneaky Pete Kleinow / pedal steel
- Mike Altschul / bass, flute, clarinet (bass), flute (bass), piccolo, sax (Baritone), sax (Tenor)
- Billy Byers / trombone, horn (Baritone)
- Alex Dmochowski / bass
- Tony Duran / vocals, slide guitar
- Erroneous / bass (electric), vocals, fuzz bass
- Janet Ferguson / vocals
- Joel Peskin / sax (Tenor)
- Chris Peterson / vocals
- Kenny Shroyer / trombone, horn (Baritone)
- Ian Underwood / guitar, keyboards, wind
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
А получился в результате энергичный, невероятно исполненный, красивый и уникальный - но и достаточно сложный и закрученный джаз-рок с влиянием прогрессив-рока. Второй из трех альбомов группы, и, возможно, - лучший.
The album Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop did more than re-introduce a guitar legend to a new generation of fans. It started a musical partnership between former Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio and Beck's keyboardist Tony Hymas that became one of progressive rock's most influential -- and surprisingly unheralded -- groups, The Lonely Bears. With guitarist Hugh Burns and saxophonist Tony Coe, the group produced three albums that have taken the lessons artists like Miles Davis wrote and taken them to the next step. As a result, many groups in the instrumental prog-rock genre -- perhaps unconsciously -- have somewhat based their sound on this group.
Yet their second album, Injustice, suggests that veering off the highway onto your own road can occasionally cause some jolts to the musical vehicle. And while the project is overall quite enjoyable, it has its moments where you can't help but wonder just what this quartet is doing -- and, in a way, maybe that's the sign that they've got a good jazz vibe going.
At times, taking the road less traveled proves to be dangerous, as tracks like "Quannah Parker" (despite subtle respecful bows paid to the late Charlie Parker) leave the listener confused, wondering just what is going on for six minutes. When things do finally tie together, I fear it sometimes might be too late to reel the listener back into the fold.
Yet there are even Zappa references in the musical phrasing, as evidenced in the opening of "Kill King Rat," a song that no doubt pleased Bozzio's musical mentor, even if the drum work occasionally slipped into standard 4/4 pounding. Anyone familiar with Bozzio's work should find a good comfort level in material like this.
But Injustice is not all about exploring unfamiliar musical avenues. Tracks such as "Jennifer" and "Entre Le Tigre Et L'Euphrate..." all create a mood that fits the musical scene quite well, and allows the listener a chance to get intimately acquainted with The Lonely Bears on their own terms. While it may have been more beneficial to have put at least one of these pieces earlier in the album to help ease the listener into the uncharted waters, it still comes as a welcomed oasis.
What Injustice serves to do is show the listener just what kind of strides were being made in progressive jazz in the early '90s -- and how these roads may still be unfamiliar to many people. At times a fascinating listen, at other times an uncomfortable one, The Lonely Bears proved they were well worth paying attention to back then -- and still are today.
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/18/2000
Terry Bozzio official site
1. March Past 29 145 749 B (8:12)
2. Quanah Parker (6:27)
3. Kill King Rat (5:42)
4. Jennifer (4:59)
5. Entre Le Tigre Et L'Euphrate... (8:11)
6. Dancing For The Elders (5:30)
7. Moonwatcher (5:08)
Total Time: 44:09
Tony Coe - saxophone
Tony Hymas - keyboards
Hugh Burns - guitar
Terry Bozzio - drums
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Альбом из трех частей: саундтрека к фильму "Метрополис" авторства Патрисии Даллио, Жерара Урбетта и Каспера Т. Тёплица общей продолжительностью 1 час 48 минут, "Le Chat de Schrödinger", написанной Жераром Урбеттом для одноименного балета и "Appars" Каспера Т. Тёплица.
Late Art Zoyd are far from their early chamber rock albums, far from ordinary electronic music and would be pretty unique even if compared to some contemporary classical music. This album is a different beast to the previous experiments like u.B.I.Q.U.e or soundtracks like Nosferatu.
The album is divided into 3 parts, the first and main being the soundtrack to the silent movie Metropolis. As explained in the booklet, the main ideas are artificial intelligence, logic and the lack of it, and similarly to movies the music is presented from different angles. The music isn't an interpretation of the actions or some background music, it is a composed score, and it even has a certain time lag between it and the movie. Therefore, the soundtrack could be for bamby at the same manner, the main idea here is the music. The piece begins with a few fade-ins, some sei-melodic arpeggios, highly rhythmic drums and a bit of keyboards, but you should be warned that it wouldn't always be like that. Other pieces can feature dark ambient-like volume swells and droning wind echoes, more rhythmic tracks, a few dance-beats, idm-like glitches and clicks and in few places even harsh noise. But the main point of the album is the competition between all those pieces in every place. Over the time you begin to recognize patterns, melodies or samples which reoccur in a different setting, together with pieces from a different time-place and that's what making the album both rewarding, and annoying for the listener. The negative side of it is that a 1''48' musical piece is physically difficult to listen to, and the framework isn't very similar to prog-rock or oher avant-prog - if you look at the line up, you may notice the lack of many live instruments, such as strings which were very common to early Art Zoyd. So all you've got is a bit of sax and tubes, very rare keyboards, and lots of programmed and live percussion, sound effects and samples. Overall the listening isn't usual at all, but at the 3rd time or so it may become even more rewarding, or stay only lots of clicks, beats, beeps, noise, two- note base lines and unfortunately nothing more.
Next goes the 24 minute Le Chat de Schrödinger(The Schrodinger Cat), whic in fact is a piece for ballet, based on a book of quantum physics(that's so modern composition.) The piece deals with energy and movement, and despite it being written together with Metropolis and they both have connection between them, this one is closer to regular avant-prog. It has not much similar with Le mariage du Ciel et de L'enfer which was the previous ballet Art Zoyd have written, but it's a much more rhythmic, energetic, harsh and dynamic piece. At one place it seems that they went back into chamber-prog territory, but the sound pallete remains the same as in Metropolis.
The last 18 minutes Appars, composed by Kasper T. Toeplitz for the Ensembles Musiques Novelles as part of the Experiments de vol is closer to the electro-acoustic dark ambient music, which may sound as one synth playing unclear dark notes and a bit of percussion, though it is a bit more structured than it seems. Overall it's easier to listen and a welcome change from the album's more frantic pace.
Overal it's a difficult album, unusual and unique. A difficult listen, 3 hours is quite a lot afterall. It's nothing like symphonic prog, other avant-prog or other Art Zoyd albums, but if you are interested in new and innovative music, it is a very good addition to any collection.
Disc 1: (74:52)
1. Générique (4:17)
2. La Ville d'En Bas (2:31)
3. Les Jardins Éternels (5:45)
4. La Salle des Machines (5:12)
5. La Ville (1:53)
6. La Nouvelle Tour de Babel (7:01)
7. Le Complot (4:37)
8. Freder et Josaphat (1:10)
9. L'Homme Mince - Le Travailleur 11811 (4:27)
10. Rotwang L'Inventeur (2:40)
11. Apparation du Robot (2:04)
12. Le Descente vers les Catacombes (6:37)
13. La Légende de la Tour de Babel (3:08)
14. Dans l'Attente du Médiateur (2:23)
15. Maria et Feder (4:52)
16. Scène de Maria dans les Catacombes (3:55)
17. La Mort et les Statues (2:10)
18. Maria Prisonnière (1:07)
19. Métamorphose du Robot (2:42)
20. Maria - Robot (1:47)
21. Aparition et Danse Charnelle de la Femme-Robot (3:15)
22. Le Triomphe de la Mort (1:17)
Disc 2: (75:35)
1. Les Nuits de Yoshiwara (3:44)
2. Le Prêche contre les Machines (2:41)
3. Maria est libre (0:27)
4. La Révolte des Profondeurs (1:50)
5. L'Ouvertures des Portes (0:58)
6. L'Inondation (3:11)
7. L'Ascension des Enfants (4:05)
8. Danse des Ouvriers sur les Ruines (0:47)
9. Maria - Robot au Bûcher (5:57)
10. La Poursuite (4:29)
11. Le Cour Médiateur (5:17)
Le Chat de Schrödinger (24:08)
Total Time: 150:27
- Serge Bertochi / sax, tubes
- Didier Casamitjana / acoustic & electronic percussion
- Laurence Chave / acoustic & electronic percussion
- Patricia Dallio / samples, keyboards
- Yukari Hamada-Bertochi / samples, keyboards
- Gérard Hourbette / samples, electronics
- Kasper T. Toeplitz / electronics, bass
Links in comments. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen's compositions tend to lead him into ecstacy and a wild, orgiastic release. Pohjonen usually starts playing sitting, as calm as if he was tranquilized by shamanic medicine, but soon he surrenders to flushes of musical energy that hit him and push him into a twisted dance that challenges his huge accordion, until the inevitable climax. The same scenario repeats with each of Pohjonen's projects—solo, the Kluster duo with percussionist and sampling genius Samuli Kosminen, his Kamluk project with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, his duo with French drummer Eric Echampard, and on his new disc, 8 Armed Monkey, with the double duo named KTU, comprised of Kluster plus TU (Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn from King Crimson).
KTU offers Pohjonen, the undisputed leader of this outfit, a much denser and more multilayered rhythmic palette than he has encountered on previous projects. Kosminen includes some imaginative and innovative samples, especially the vocals on “Optikus” and “Absinthe” that contend with Pohjonen's guttural growls. Gunn's Warr guitar functions as an intricate choir of basses that solidify the textures, and Mastelotto's drums stress the grooves.
With such an enveloping rhythm section, Pohjonen's demonic onslaughts get closer to the musical universe of another sound sorcerer, King Crimson's Robert Fripp, and bring him full circle to where this project began. Six years ago the seeds for KTU took root while Pohjonen played with Fripp in Texas, when he shared a bill with Mastelotto/Gunn/Fripp's Project Three, but it took KTU another five years to release its first disc.
The five tracks on 8 Armed Monkey present KTU in different moods and sonic excursions. The opening track, “Sumu,” suggests the dark atmosphere of this release. ”Optikus,” with Gunn's distorted, funky churning and Pohjonen's ecstatic solo, is the best track. Kosminen's samples outline the minimalist and mysterious “Sineen,” and the collectively improvised “Absinthe” sounds like it's part of King Crimson's late-'90s repertoire. The concluding track, “Keho,” is a slow and dark piece. 8 Armed Monkey offers an intense ride that simultaneously resembles a simple, ancient, shamanistic ritual and a futuristic soundscape, overloaded with disturbing and tempting information.By Eyal Hareuveni
Visit Kimmo Pohjonen (and check the video of “Optikus”), Trey Gunn, and Pat Mastelotto on the web.
1. Sumu (Pohjonen) 8:43
2. Optikus (Pohjonen) 8:36
3. Sineen (Kosminen, Pohjonen) 7:22
4. Absinthe (Gunn, Mastelotto) 8:21
5. Keho (Gunn, Kosminen, Mastelotto, Pohjonen) 10:01
Kimmo Pohjonen - accordion, voice
Samuli Kosminen - accordion samples, voice samples
Trey Gunn - Warr guitar
Pat Mastelotto - rhythmic devices
Recorded live at Eggman, Tokyo at Eggman and Nosturi, Helsinki, April 2004.
Produced by Pat Mastelotto with Kimmo Pohjonen and Phillip Page
Mixed, engineered, edited and assembled by Pat Mastelotto.
Design: Ilmari Hakala and Phillip Page
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Friday, April 27, 2007
Boris Kovac's second album for the Canadian label Disques Victo, East Off Europe: Closing the Circle ranks among the best musical achievements of his career. This cycle is clearly related to his previous album Anamnesis: Ecumenical Mysteries. One finds a similar instrumentation (violin, clarinet, saxophone, double bass, piano, voice), the same chamber music meets tradition meets modernity approach. But this time Kovac took the recipe to a new level of emotional power. Split into three parts, "Visible Side," "Invisible Side," and "Finale," this cycle gains strength through the use of a leitmotiv, a simple but very dramatic melodic and rhythmical motif. It has the effect of a calling bell: each time it appears the listener's attention is refocused. The contrasts between quiet and powerful, pastoral and dark are enhanced by a wonderful comprehension of dynamics -- you can do a lot with only a bass drum for percussion. The soprano Jaroslava Benka Vlcek gets a smaller role on this album, but it gives more impact to her presence in the second movement of "Invisible Side" and in the "Finale." Once again, comparisons would have to be drawn with the chamber music of Ligeti and the dark side of Rock in Opposition (Univers Zero, Art Zoyd). Moreover it is crucial to understand that Kovac's music does not belong to classical music, rock music, or even instrumental music, nor does it fit into a particular time period. Beautifully timeless and moving, East Off Europe: Closing the Circle can be a revelation to any open-minded music lover.
François Couture, All Music Guide
1. Visible Side (Kovac) 2:48
2. Visible Side (Kovac) 8:44
3. Visible Side (Kovac) 7:02
4. Invisible Side (Kovac) 5:56
5. Invisible Side (Kovac) 25:24
6. Finale (Kovac) 4:38
Boris Kovac - Drums (Bass), Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Mixing, Grosse Caisse, Producer, Main Performer
Nenad Vrbaski - Violin
Ivica Marusevic - Double Bass, Contrabass
Sasa Svijic - Piano
Jaroslava Benka Vlcek - Soprano
Bogdan Rankovic - Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass)
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Второй альбом легендарной кентерберийской группы, основателей нового, доселе невиданного и неслыханного стиля в музыке – “Rock In Opposition”, четко разделенный на две половины. Первая половина – камерный арт-рок кентерберийского образца, виртуозный, отточенный, естественно, с сильным влиянием джаза, только более суровый и печальный, а вот вторая, – коллективные импровизации группы, диссонантные, жестокие, порой навевающие жуть и ощущение “неба с овчинку”, но, как ни парадоксально, близкие скорее не фри-джазу, а иным произведениям Альфреда Шнитке (!), – то бишь не ждите от группы четкой мелодики и структурированности, - вместо этого получите абсолютно немелодичный, абсолютно неритмичный, и абсолютно шикарный музыкальный кошмар! “Unrest” – это ведь беспорядок, вот поэтому на половине альбома и царит зверская музыкальная анархия, надо сказать, довольно завораживающая и сражающая наповал своим психоделическим зарядом. Вот только за этой психоделичностью нет никаких наркотиков – музыка сделана с горячим сердцем, но с холодной головой. Хотя, конечно же, альбом довольно тяжел для восприятия, и, чтобы такая музыка понравилась сразу, нужна некоторая подготовка. Однако, если вы любите диссонанс, угловатые ритмы и мелодику, вам нравится большинство альбомов King Crimson, - то имеет смысл рискнуть! Бонус-треки – это не очень хорошо записанные фрагменты студийных джем-сейшенов группы, предшествовавших записи альбома, конечно, они еще более дикие, лохматые, непричесанные, чем сам альбом. Настоящий музыкальный погром и разбой! О игре музыкантов, я думаю, распространяться не нужно – Henry Cow, как всегда, играют превосходно.
1. Bitter Storm over Ulm (2:44)
2. Half asleep; Half awake (7:39)
3. Ruins (12:00)
4. Solemn Music (1:09)
5. Linguaphonie (5:58)
6. Upon entering the Hotel Adlon (2:56)
7. Arcades (1:50)
8. Deluge (5:52)
9. The Glove (6:31)
10. Torchfire (4:51)
- John Greaves / bass, piano, vocals
- Chris Cutler / piano, trumpet, drums, vocals
- Lindsay Cooper / bassoon, oboe, recorder, vocals
- George Born / bass
- Fred Frith / guitar, piano, violin, keyboards, xylophone
- Charles Fletcher / vocals
- Tim Hodgkinson / organ, clarinet, piano, keyboards, saxophones, vocals
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Anamnesis: Ecumenical Mysteries was Yugoslavian saxophonist/composer Boris Kovac's first release out of Europe (on the Canadian label Disques Victo). It was also his first work recorded in Yugoslavia following the war that forced him to an Italian exile for a few years. Back in his native town Novi Sad, he reformed his Ritual Nova Ensemble (disbanded by the war) and composed this suite in four parts and three intermezzos. The music does not have the same power of impact and emotional strength as his next album (East-Off Europe: Closing the Circle). Here, Kovac remained more meditative, as to accommodate the spiritual plot underpinning the work (an attempt at the synthesis of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Islam, the three major religions of his country). The all-acoustic group (voice, reeds, violin, cello, piano, percussion) was recorded in a church, adding to the solemnity of the music. The atmosphere lies somewhere between modern chamber music (Ligeti) and the early albums of Art Zoyd and Univers Zero, mostly because of the sparse and martial use of percussion, and recourse to wide volume dynamics. Traditional dances are woven into the musical fabric (especially in "The Singing") and the warm voice of soprano Jaroslava Benka breathes a majestic soul into the work. Very beautiful and recommended, although Kovac's next album is more moving.
François Couture, All Music Guide
1. Voice (10:40)
2. Violin interlude
Alto saxophone interlude (16:49)
3. White Cities (12:29)
4. Cello interlude
The Singing (8:52)
Jaroslava Benka: soprano
Mihal Budinski: violon
Nebojsa Pandurovic: cello
Srdjan Dalagija: piano
Ljubomir Zivkovic: percussion
Boris Kovac: various instruments and composition
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Friday, April 6, 2007
Крайне рекомендуемая вещь для тех, кому нравится творчество NeBeLNeST, The Mars Volta или Anekdoten - а также, вероятно, для тех, кому нравится Univers Zero. Ну или Magma, Ruins. Или пост-рок. А также всем остальным, кто уже запутался в сравнениях - группа уникальная и вряд ли тут можно услышать явную похожесть на кого-либо из перечисленных.
Five Suns? Yeah right. Perhaps if yours truly found himself at home in the unwelcoming realms of Charon, feasted upon the blood of his enemies, and had the unfortunate curse of having a bad trip about every, oh, two minutes, Guapo's latest outing could be considered a quintuple arrangement of life-giving stars. The way it stands, however, the only five suns the listener will get from this harrowing tour-de-force will be those above an apocalyptic sky teeming with toxic fumes and a temperature worthy of Hades himself. Don't forget to mix in a good amount of neurosis, paranoia, claustrophobia, and martial steadfastness. Yeah, I know; it sounds pretty cool. It is.
Apparently someone somewhere once said that Guapo resembles Lark's Tongues in Aspic's King Crimson, which is pretty much like comparing Weezer to Slayer, golf to rugby, or picturesque streams to incoming asteroid storms. Forget the Crimson reference and remember that rock critics tend to categorize every single progressive band on the planet as a bastard child of Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, or the aforementioned Crimson. Hell, if it were up to the hip staff of Rolling Stone, Guapo would most likely be the spawn of all four of them. Then it would storm the infamous mag's offices, drive everyone mad with a dead-on attack of massive proportions, and spit it all out; all in one fell swoop. No, ladies and gentlemen. Guapo is not a King Crimson. Guapo doesn't want to be a King Crimson. Guapo doesn't need to be a King Crimson. And with the incessant onslaught of Dave Smith's drums and the maddening drive provided by cohorts Daniel O'Sullivan and Matt Thompson, it's clear why: these guys don't intend to share the world with anyone anytime soon.
And they won't have to, unless the boys in Magma (well, they actually aren't quite boys anymore) decide to duke it out with them in a death duel, which not only would be a marvel to look at, but would also make even California's current governor cower with fear. Steering back to the matter at hand, however, the reason why the members of this British trio could aspire to dominate such a considerable piece of land is the fact that the intensity they conjure is simply bewildering. Although the multi-movement "Five Suns"does steam off towards the end and leaves an ever-so-slight trail of disappointment behind, the core of the piece is so obliterating, so perversely sinister, and so unforgiving that the listener can't help but feel a bit of delicious psychosis sinking in and consuming whatever traces of normality struggle to remain. Noisy drones here, pseudo-jazzy licks of concentrated darkness there, unstoppable walls of crushing marches further along the path, and a constant sense of alluring trance are all weapons of choice in Guapo's arsenal. You might as well know what the band is going to hit you with, because you should remember the following: Guapo cannot be stopped.
And truth be told, you probably wouldn't want the British outfit to do so either. If the hypnotizing soundscapes of "Five Suns" don't produce the effect, there are still "Mictlan" and "Topan" to ineluctably involve the listener in a world of precisely placed dynamics, intelligent structuring, and sheer power. If that doesn't suffice, then you must be a resident of the netherworld itself. Either that or you forgot to push "Play" on your stereo. For the rest of us mere mortals who are aware of the trappings of modern sound-reproducing devices, however, one thing stands crystal clear: Five Suns is coming and embedding itself into our consciousness, whether we like it or not.
Marcelo Silveyra, September 2004
1. Five Suns - Part 1 (4:31)
2. Five Suns - Part 2 (10:19)
3. Five Suns - Part 3 (10:30)
4. Five Suns - Part 4 (12:57)
5. Five Suns - Part 5 (7:55)
6. [untitled] (1:00)
7. Mictlan (8:58)
8. Topan (6:37)
Total Time: 63:09
Daniel O'Sullivan - Fender Rhodes, organ, Mellotron, harmonium, guitar, electronics
Matt Thompson - bass, guitar, electronics
Dave Smith - drums, percussion
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